Associate Professor Judith Snodgrass

Associate Professor Judith Snodgrass

Arts (SoHCA)

Adjunct Associate Professor,
Humanities and Communication Arts (SEO)

Adjunct Associate Professor,
Dean's Unit, School of Humanities & Comm Arts


Associate Professor Judith Snodgrass writes, researches and teaches in the areas of Buddhism in the West, Buddhism and Asian modernity, Buddhist nationalism, and Western knowledge of Asia. She is the author of Presenting Japanese Buddhism to the West: Orientalism, Occidentalism and the Columbian Exposition (University of North Carolina Press, 2003). Associate Professor Snodgrass was editor of the internationally refereed professional journal Japanese Studies (Taylor and Francis) from 1997 through 2011. 

In 1991, Judith was a founding member of TAASA (The Asian Art Society of Australia) and was an active member of the Executive for the first decade of its activities.

She is currently President of AABS (Australasian Association of Budhdist Studies).

In 2012, she chaired the organising committee of the biennial conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia.

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Snodgrass.


  • PhD University of Sydney
  • BA University of Sydney

Professional Memberships

  • Asian Studies Association of Australia (1990)
  • Japanese Studies Association of Australia (1990 - 2013)
  • Australasian Association of Buddhist Studies (2003)
  • International Association for Inoue Enryo Research (2013)
  • Society for the Study of Japanese Religions (2001)

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Arts (SoHCA)
  • Humanities and Communication Arts (SEO)
  • Dean's Unit, School of Humanities & Comm Arts


Phone: (02) 9685 9368
Location: EQ.1.30

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Previous Teaching Areas

  • 100271 Modern Japanese History, 2011
  • 100271 Modern Japanese History, 2013
  • 100294 Warlords, Artists and Emperors: Power and Authority in Premodern Japan, 2011
  • 100861 Empire: European Colonial Rule and its Subjects, 1750-1920, 2012
  • 100958 Australia and the World, 2013
  • 101882 A History of Modern Global Buddhism, 2012



  • Snodgrass, J. (2003), 'Presenting Japanese Buddhism to the West: Orientalism, Occidentalism and the Columbian Exposition', : University of North Carolina Press 0807827851.

Chapters in Books

  • Snodgrass, J. (2021), 'India-Japan dialogue in the 1920s : Buddhism and world peace in The Young East', Culture as Power: Buddhist Heritage and the Indo-Japanese Dialogue, Routledge 9781032045863.
  • Snodgrass, J. and Kaneko, N. (2020), 'Ryo dai sen-kan no Nihon ni okeru eibun shuppan-mono ni utsuru Suzuki fusai no kiyo', Daisetsu Suzuki: Zen okoete = Daisetsu Suzuki: Beyond Zen, Shibunkaku Shuppan 9784784219971.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2018), 'Yangueesuto-Toyo bukkyokara mita nihin no uchidzuke o kentosuru', Politics, Society and International Relations in the Asia Pacific Region: History and Prospects, Akashi Shoten Publishing 9784750347189.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2015), 'Engaged Buddhism in 1920s Japan : the Young East mission for social reform, global Buddhism and world peace', Routledge Handbook of Religions in Asia, Taylor & Francis 9780415635035.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2015), 'The young East : negotiating Japan's place in the world through East Asian Buddhism', Japan Viewed from Interdisciplinary Perspectives: History and Prospects, Lexington Books 9781498500227.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2014), 'Chicago shukyo kaigi no sutoratejii : bukkyo to joyaku kaisei', Transformations of the Buddha: Crisscrossing Streams of Modern Buddhism, Hoso 9784831862266.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2009), 'Publishing Eastern Buddhism: D T Suzuki's journey to the West', Casting Faiths: Imperialism and the transformation of religion in East and Southeast Asia, Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 9780230235458.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2009), 'Discourse, Authority, Demand. The Politics of Early English Publications on Buddhism', Transbuddhism. Transmission, Translation, Transformation, University of Massachusetts Press 9781558497085.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2007), 'Budda no fukuin: The deployment of Paul Carus's Gospel of Buddha in Meiji Japan', Defining Buddhism(s), Equinox 1845532317.

Journal Articles

  • Snodgrass, J. (2022), 'Metalwork of 19th century Japan in the Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum', TAASA Review, vol 31, no 2 , pp 10 - 12.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2020), 'Discovering a missing masterpiece of Meiji cloisonne', TAASA Review, vol 29, no 1 , pp 4 - 6.
  • Liston, C. and Snodgrass, J. (2020), ''A needle is a small blade. The iron is forged like a sword' : a needle shop in Kyoto', TAASA Review, vol 29, no 1 , pp 16 - 17.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2018), 'Discovering Japan through recent art histories', TAASA Review, vol 27, no 3 , pp 12 - 14.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2018), 'Editorial: Japan', TAASA Review, vol 27, no 3 , pp 3 - 3.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2012), 'Kindai gurobaru bukkyo e no nihon no koken', Kindai to Bukkyo, vol 41 , pp 59 - 76.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2012), 'Japan's contribution to modern global Buddhism : the world's parliament of religions revisited', Eastern Buddhist, vol 43, no 1-2 , pp 81 - 102.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2009), 'Performing Buddhist modernity : the Lumbini Festival, Tokyo 1925', Journal of Religious History, vol 33, no 2 , pp 133 - 148.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2007), 'Exhibiting Meiji Modernity: Japanese art at the Columbian Exposition', East Asian History, vol 31 , pp 75 - 100.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2007), 'Defining Modern Buddhism: Mr and Mrs Rhys Davids and the Pali Text Society', Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, vol 27, no 1 , pp 186 - 202.
  • Snodgrass, J. (2003), 'Building Modern Thai Identity: The Maha Dhammakaya Cetiya', Architectural Theory Review, vol 8, no 3 , pp 171 - 183.

My research covers a diverse range of topics from Meiji Japanese history to the future of Buddhism in Australia, bound together by an interest, inspired by the work of Michel Foucault, in the formation of knowledge. The book, Presenting Buddhism to the West (2003) is a case study of the formation of Western knowledge of Buddhism, introduced by the Japanese delegation ot the World's Parliament of Religions at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago 1893. My work on Buddhism in Australia was originally an extension of this: to what extent does the presence of practising Asian Buddhism living in the community impact on this knowledge? It very quickly extended to include questions of the transformation of Asian Buddhist practices in resettled communities, and the function of Buddhism in facilitating integration. Both these streams come together in my current emergent group project on Buddhism in Australia, and of the history of the globalization of Buddhism.

The interest in Asian Buddhist modernity and Buddhist nationalism in Japan that shaped the book continue in my current study of the Young East, pan-Asian Buddhist movements, and social reform in early twentieth century East Asia.

Other offshoots from the book include a continuing interest in Expositions, display, performance and the importance of popular culture (especially film) in history and in our knowledge of it. 

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Snodgrass.

Previous Projects

Title: Museums, Cultural Diversity and Audience Development - Realms of the Buddha - A Case Study
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
  • Art Gallery of NSW
  • NSW Premiers Department
Western Researchers: Ien Ang and Judith Snodgrass
Years: 2001-01-01 - 2004-06-28
ID: P0009624


Associate Professor Snodgrass is available to be a principal supervisor for doctoral projects

Current Supervision

Thesis Title: Sydney's 'Paris Exhibition': An Account of the 1854 Exhibition of the Natural and Industrial Products of NSW
Field of Research:

Previous Supervision

Thesis Title: "The Demoniacal Impulse": The Construction of Amok in the Philippines.
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Returning to Asia: Japan in the Cultural Dynamics of Globalisation, Localisation and Asianisation.
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Iconography in the Chinese Mayajala-Tantra
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Zen in Brazil: The Quest for Cosmopolitan Modernity
Field of Research: Philosophy And Religious Studies
Thesis Title: The Cross-Cultural Appropriation of Manga and Anime in Australia
Field of Research: Language And Literature
Thesis Title: In Exile at Home - A Fijian-Indian Story
Field of Research: Studies In Human Society, N.e.c.
Thesis Title: Japanese Women Marriage Migrants Today: Negotiating Gender, Identity and Community in Search of a New Lifestyle in Western Sydney
Field of Research: Society And Culture
Thesis Title: 'Sometimes a Little Injustice must be Suffered for the Public Good'. How the National Security (Aliens Control) Regulations 1939 (Cth) affected the lives of German, Italian, Japanese and Australian born women living in Australia during the Second World War.
Field of Research: Studies In Human Society
Thesis Title: Avoiding the Stain of Religion: Attitudes toward Social Engagement amongst Australian Tibetan Buddhists
Field of Research: Society And Culture; Religious Studies
Thesis Title: Missionary of Reconciliation: The role of the Doctrine of Reconciliation in the Preaching of Festo Kivengere of Uganda, 1971-1988
Field of Research: Studies In Human Society
Thesis Title: John Bull's Two Legs: The Influence of India on British Liberal Thought, 1820-1860
Field of Research: Human Welfare Studies And Services

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